What Lies Beyond the Horizon: Satire in Novels

Reading Between the Lines: The True Meaning of the Story

George Saunders: Marriages. Winning Your Lottery

In his extremely satiric essay Saunders asks a simple question – why not marrying someone with an even weaker will and becoming what can be called a “normal family” (Saunders)? The author claims that from this day on, he is going to be “completely male” (Saunders).

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However, taking a deeper look at the essay, one can see the change in the social roles in modern families. Amused at the intolerance of the so-called “masculine women” and “feminine men”, Saunders expresses a deep concern for the “role shifting”.

Jonathan Swift: Cannibalism as a Kind of Philanthropy

The king of satire, Swift was as political as ever in this short piece. Seeking the ways to enhance the economics of England and eliminate poverty, he suggests “philanthropic cannibalism” – why not eating the paupers’ children and selling them “for food” (Swift 58)? No one cares for them either way.

What hides beyond the absurd of the novel is the collapsing empire. The people suffering from hunger and diseases need help, yet those possessing power do nothing to assist the poor, which fills Swift with indignation.

Rodney Rothman: White Collars, Blue Faces

Another perfect specimen of satire, Rothman’s short novel is filled with the hidden sense which is as sad as the office life of the lead character. As the plot unwinds, the reader sees the workaday life of a typical office clerk. The “fake job” which Randy takes ties him with the bonds of civilization hands and feet.

Searching deeper, one can see that Rodney’s fake job is a caricature of the fake life of millions of people. All this we-are-B2B-thingy stuff (Rothman 125) is designed to lure people into an ersatz life with no sense in it – it is merely a living-to-work existence.

Dissecting the Lobster: The Key Part of the Argument

Concerning the short novel Consider the Lobster, it is possible to suggest that the most meaningful passage in the text is the piece on page 242, beginning with: “A detail so obvious…” (Wallace 242) and ending with “… for the Main Eating Tent” (Wallace 243). One of the passages which are filled with emotions to the hilt, it depicts in cold and precise phrases such details as the fact that lobsters are boiled alive. What makes this piece stand out so much and contribute to the overall impression of the text is the fact that the very paragraph tells the details of the holiday is rather concise, emotionless tone; yet each idea conveyed in the text appeals to people’s sensitivity, imagination, and compassion – all those three pieces which make a human.

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As for my personal feelings concerning this passage, these simple words had hardly made me a vegetarian. Indeed, eager to fill their stomachs with exquisite dishes – which is often a tribute to fashion – people seldom think of the probable sufferings which an animal is supposed to undergo before turning into a “dish”. It seems to me now that people have to reconsider their savage ideas of cookery. Indeed, some of the delicacies presuppose sophisticated torturing of animals or fish which are to become “food”.

Wallace’s decision here is evident – trying to convince people to be more humane, he resorts to this means – and it affects me to a great degree. Explaining to the reader that animals are as worthy of respect as people are, Wallace is convincing as ever.

Works Cited

Rothman, Rodney. My Fake Job. The New Yorker 27 Nov. 2000, 120-134. Print.

Saunders, George. My Amendment. The New Yorker. 2004. Web.

Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works. Minneola, NY: Courier Dover Publications, 1996. Print.

Wallace, David Foster. Consider the Lobster. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company. 2005. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, March 9). What Lies Beyond the Horizon: Satire in Novels. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/what-lies-beyond-the-horizon-satire-in-novels/

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"What Lies Beyond the Horizon: Satire in Novels." StudyCorgi, 9 Mar. 2021, studycorgi.com/what-lies-beyond-the-horizon-satire-in-novels/.

1. StudyCorgi. "What Lies Beyond the Horizon: Satire in Novels." March 9, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/what-lies-beyond-the-horizon-satire-in-novels/.


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StudyCorgi. "What Lies Beyond the Horizon: Satire in Novels." March 9, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/what-lies-beyond-the-horizon-satire-in-novels/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "What Lies Beyond the Horizon: Satire in Novels." March 9, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/what-lies-beyond-the-horizon-satire-in-novels/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'What Lies Beyond the Horizon: Satire in Novels'. 9 March.

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